Here are the top 10 goalies you should target for your fantasy hockey draft, and why:
Luongo has ousted Brodeur as the can't miss goalie come draft day. Although injuries limited his value last season, his second half performance demonstrated why he's the definition of money when it comes to goalies. Don't hesitate to draft him in the top 5 picks.
When healthy, Nabokov is as good as it gets. Unfortunately, he tends to get hurt at least once per season. Even so, he was good enough to be considered for the Vezina last season and should be a top fantasy goalie again this year.
Since claiming the #1 job in Minnesota in 2006, Backstrom has been an outstanding fantasy starter. After signing a long-term deal, he will continue to flourish in the Wild's defensive system. Only concern may be the new coaching regime is promising a more open system.
Lundqvist slipped just a bit last season, but that's no reason to believe he doesn't still belong in the upper tier of goalies. The Rangers are destined to be a defense first team in 09-10, which will help the King deliver for fantasy owners.
It's hard to think of Brodeur as being a steal, but don't be surprised to see his stock falling drastically after last season's injury and playoff failure. Forget all that. Until he actually has a bad season, continue to draft Marty if you have the chance. Just not in the first round.
It's hard to know what to do with Thomas. After a Vezina winning season, some may bump him up to the top 3, while others continue to wait for his inevitable demise. He's no Spring Chicken, so it won't last forever, but remember, Hasek put up some of his best numbers in his late 30's playing the same style. And Boston will continue to be a defensive minded team. Draft Thomas, but don't get crazy and pick him in the first round. Note that he's never been a workhorse, averaging less than 60 games a season.
Ward's numbers have gotten better every season, and after his impressive post-season, he's ready to be ranked amoung the elite goaltenders. With a full season under Coach Maurice, Ward could potentially be the top goaltender in 09-10.
Amazing potential and skill. Amazingly inconsistent. The Penguins have never been built to favor good goalie stats, but Fleury has hung in there anyway. Don't get too excited about his great playoff performance. He still has to face a few breakaways every night in the regular season, and he won't have Scuderi in front (or behind) him to block shots next season.
Hard to imagine Mason repeating last season's success. Then again, he has yet to show a weakness, and goalies who play for Hitchcock are always a good bet in fantasy hockey. Be a little conservative with ranking him this season, now that the pressure and spotlight are on him. Remember, Pascal LeClaire was in this spot not too long ago.
Despite his high win total, Kiprusoff's vital stats have slid consistently for the last 4 seasons. Having Sutter back behind the bench may bring some sanity back to the Calgary blueline, which may give him a boost. Not to mention a new superstar defenseman is in the mix in Calgary. So, don't write him off, but don't overrate him either.